Thursday, November 26, 2020

Chinese Jian - the Correct Sword Grip - Scott M. Rodell

"When it comes to the correct sword grip... If the grip maintains the hand in a protected position, If the swordsman can employ this grip to deliver a powerful cut that could rend a limb, if the grip allows for a lively, adaptive hand that can quickly change direction from one cut to another, from deflection to strike as one movement, Then it is a correct grip. If the grip fails in any of these categories, it is, without question, incorrect." ~ Scott M. Rodell 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Dai Family Xinyiquan - 1985 - Early Footage Ma Erniu, Wang Yinghai, Gao Xiquan


Dai Family Xinyiquan - 1985 - Early Footage Ma Erniu, Wang Yinghai, Gao Xiquan

"Rare footage of early Dai Family Xinyiquan from Qi County, the cradle and until now the center of the style. The video features two famous disciples of Dai Kui: Ma Erniu (1906-?) and Wang Yinghai (1926-2012), as well as Gao Xiquan (1948-2017), son of Gao Shengzhen (another disciple of Dai Kui).

Apart from the common parts of the system - Five Elements Fists and Ten (Animal) Shapes - less known methods are also presented, including the famous Three Fists, Seven Canons and Five Shoulder (Strikes), as well as a few very rare routines.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the demonstrations are differences in the signature movement of the system - the Body Method. The core method of Dai style is the Squatting Monkey exercise, which trains Contracting and Expanding (Shu-Zhan) of the body. While Gao Xiquan presents very standard - clear and obvious - Body Method which most of the practitioners nowadays display, Ma Erniu's body shows hardly any Contracting and Expanding. Sun Yemin, Song style Xinyiquan practitioner and a researcher of the history of Xinyi/Xingyi, who spent many years in Shanxi in the 80s, speculated that Dai Kui had probably changed the training methods of the family system after working as the martial arts instructor for Yan Xishan's army in Inner Mongolia. The main change was done to the Squatting Monkey exercise -  making the range of the movement bigger. This could also explain why Contracting/Expanding is not very pronounced in Xingyiquan of Li Luoneng.

While this is only speculation, there is general agreement that Ma Erniu's method is very valid - and Ma was very respected in Qi County. 

On another note: Ma Erniu was famous for his hard power - while the general principle in Dai Family practice is to release power (use hard power, so-called "fast power"), he could release power with each movement. This was apparently linked to the fact that he began his studies of Dai style Xinyiquan very early, as a boy, and never married.

 Please note the footwork of Wang Yinghai - this was his signature skill. Wang was famous for his footwork, Ma Erniu - hard power, Wang Buchang - for shoulder strikes. According to oral stories told in Qi County, Dai Kui passed the family system not to just one disciple, but instead taught one skill to each of them.

 The detailed contents of the footage:

 Demos by Ma Erniu:

00:50-02:01 - "Ten Lines of Zha Shi" (Crushing Postures). Most other disciples of Dai Kui practice either 4 or 5 lines, Ma Erniu was the only one who taught 10 lines of the routine. This is the longest routine of the system and contains movements from Praying Mantis system which Dai clan learnt from Jin Shikui.

02:02-02:28 - "Essentials of Ten Methods". Rare routine based on the basic theory of Xinyiquan attributed to Cao Jiwu (Ji Longfeng's disciple)

02:29-03:15 - "Boxing Method of Heaven and Earth Yin-Yang Eight Military Formations" routine. Very rare routine based on using military formations, following eight trigrams patterns, on the battlefield. Shi Xiongba, another disciple of Dai Kui, revealed the detailed theory as well as the names of the movements of the routine during the Wushu Survey conducted in early 1980s. 

 Demos by Gao Xiquan:

03:16-03:44 - Dantian Squatting AKA Squatting Monkey, most important method of the system. Gao demoes it in both the slow and fast manners.

03:45-04:18 - Dantian Shifting AKA as Footwork

04:22-04:45 - Dantian Shooting

04:47-05:19 - Dantian Smashing

 Demos by Wang Yinghai:

05:20-06:05 - Three Fists (Drilling, Wrapping, Treading)

06:07-06:45 - Five Elements Fists

06:46-07:01 - Horizontal Fist

07:02-07:09 - Crushing Fist

07:10-07:15 - Canon Fist

07:16-07:25 - Drilling Fist

07:26-07:49 - Dragon (Shape)

07:50-08:03 - Tiger

08:04-08:28 - Monkey

08:30-08:44 - Horse

08:45-08:56 - Snake

08:57-09:14 - Bear

09:15-09:30 - (Sparrow) Hawk

09:31-09:40 - Swallow

09:41-09:50 - Eagle

09:51-10:07 - Rooster

10:08-10:38 - Canon of Piercing the Sky

10:40-11:08 - Canon of Digging the Ground

11:18-11:31 - Linked Canons

11:32-11:53 - Canon of Chasing the Wind

11:54-12:14 - Canon of Capturing the Sides

12:15-12:30 - Canon of Touching the Side

12:31-12:56 - Hawk (Shape) Shoulder

12:59-13:25 - Ploughing Shoulder

13:26-13:50 - Crossed-shaped Shoulder

13:51-14:20 - Wind Wrapping Shoulder

14:21-14:45 - Falling Slope Shoulder

More information about Dai Family Xinyiquan:

Dai Family Xinyiquan - The Origins and Development: 

Dai Family Xinyiquan - Technical Characteristics:

Please note that the explanation on the soundtrack not always point at the movements that are performed at the moment, hence I provided the above details for easier navigation.

For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit:


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Ma Weiqi Bagua Zhang


Ma Weiqi Bagua Zhang 1st Palm八卦掌第一掌 Shi ChongYing石祟英

Guo Shilei (郭石磊) of Dongguan City, Guangdong, China, from the Ma Weiqi (馬維棋) style Baguazhang (八卦掌)

"Ma Weiqi (馬維棋) (1851 - 1886) was also a disciple of Dong Haichuan in the martial art of Baguazhang. He owned a shop in Beijing selling coal and briquettes and he was therefore nicknamed "Mei Ma" or Coal Ma"." wikipedia

Monday, November 16, 2020

Song style Xing Yi Quan 张增记 宋式形意拳 - Zhang Zengji

                                   Song style Xing Yi Quan 张增记 宋式形意拳 - Zhang Zengji

"Master Zhang Zengji, chairman of the Beijing Xing Yi Quan Research Association demonstrate the 12 forms linking fist of Song Shi Rong branch. It is very interesting 12 forms, different from our Wang Jiwu branch. Master Zhang learned from Beijing master Xu Fan Zeng (许繁曾) and Shanxi Taigu master Tian Jin Zhong (田进忠) He also had the oportunity to get the advices and guidances of Song style grand masters Song Guanghua(宋光华) and Wang Rugui (王儒贵,disciople of Zhao Yongchang赵永昌who was disciople of Song Tielin 宋铁麟). Chairman Zhang is also mastered in Bagua in Cheng Tinghua lineage. 北京武术协会形意拳研究会会长张增记老师演练宋式形意拳十二形连环拳套路。  纪念意拳宗师王芗斋诞辰130周年大会2015 。11。 22"

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Taiji Sword by Chen Weiming (1929) trans: Scott M. Rodell




Demonstrations of sword matches that focus on (striking) the wrist and arm are used the same in taiji sword. (I’ve) noticed that this has not been passed down.
Generally speaking, those practicing the sword dance today are like a rolling wind, very fast like a swooping bird, and with an appearance like a soaring dragon; it looks beautiful but is not necessarily of any use.

Quoted from the introduction to Taiji Sword by Chen Weiming (1929)
trans: Scott M. Rodell